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3D scan of our aquifers

3D Aquifer photo

A unique view of a significant three-dimensional mapping project of the region’s aquifers is now available for the public.  

Regional Council Integrated Catchment Manager Iain Maxwell says results show a 3D image of our groundwater systems like we’ve never seen before.

He says the aquifers have effectively had a scan of their insides, to improve understanding of how they are working to ensure better decision making.

The Regional Council, in partnership with the Provincial Growth Fund and GNS Science, completed the survey using cutting-edge Danish SkyTEM technology.

“Water management is crucially important for the future of the Hawke’s Bay region, so this level of mapping will ensure that our decision making around the management of our groundwater resources is well-informed.”

Regional Council Team Leader of Hydrology & Groundwater Science Simon Harper says the team have completed modelling for the Poukawa and Ōtāne basins and have a clearer view of the thickness and composition of the groundwater systems in these basins.

“GNS Science in partnership with Aarhus University are currently interpreting data for the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha basins.”

The public can access information on the Poukawa and Ōtāne Basins` at, search #3dwater.

“We’ve developed a StoryMap where the public can learn about the project and interact with our models to generate virtual wells and cross-sections”.

The SkyTEM survey was completed during January and February 2020.

The surveys were flown over the Ngaruroro River Valley, Heretaunga Plains, Ruataniwha Plains and the Poukawa and Ōtāne Basins.

To find out more go to, search #3dwater

22 July 2022

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